Stand-alone ATMs are being stolen from small businesses in northeastern Alberta.

Since Jan. 10, thieves have robbed and even taken machines from 11 different businesses in Cold Lake, Lloydminster, Marwayne, Glendon, St. Paul, Lac La Biche, the Cold Lake First Nation and Frog Lake First Nation.

In earlier robberies, such as one at a grocery store in Cold Lake, thieves cut the ATMs open using an acetylene torch.

But now they are taking the machines away, said RCMP Sgt. Brent Sawatzky.

“They are actually breaking into the businesses, backing stolen vehicles through the doors, attaching a strap to the ATMs and pulling them out,” he said.

“Once they get them outside and away from the business, then they’ll load them up and they’re gone.”

RCMP believe that the same group of people is responsible. However, police are unable to provide a description because the suspects wear balaclavas and coveralls.

“It’s extremely difficult for us to say who they are based on what we’ve seen in the surveillance videos,” Sawatzky said.

RCMP are hoping the public can help them by reporting any suspicious activity.